Hydronic boilers throughout America are crucial for keeping commercial businesses, health facilities, and residential living spaces warm during harsh winters and their efficiency and size are perfect for thousands of people. With so many months of cold, and so many residents, it is crucial for contractors to be able to keep all of these heating systems in good working condition. A common symptom many residents face is that of a overly noisy boiler, not only an annoying interruption on quiet winter days but a sign of an inefficient heating system.
By Jeremy Allfrey and David Blake
A boiler is only as good as its water source and Chicago, along with many cities across the US, have hard water and rural areas are exposed to hard city water and well water. Well water, while not inherently hard, is most likely hard water because it carries minerals from the ground and hard water has higher levels of calcium and magnesium compounds. While not harmful for us to drink, these compounds solidify and create limescale. We often see limescale build up on our taps and showerheads, but this is also occurring wherever hard water is being heated and can wreak havoc in hot water systems and heating systems.
Loud boilers are a sign of inefficiency and are a nuisance to those who live with them. Though there are a number of factors that can cause boiler noise in closed loop hydronic heating systems, it is most often caused by a thin layer of limescale on the heat exchanger. Many homeowners and building managers don’t realize that the limescale that builds up can run up expenses in a number of ways. Appliances break down faster causing the need for them to be replaced, and just 1.6mm of limescale build up can cause a 12% drop in heat transfer efficiency, meaning that equipment has to work harder to heat up water.
The hard, off-white, chalky deposit you can find in heavily used kettles and coffee makers is the culprit in our hot-water boilers and a clear indicator of inadequately maintained hot-water central heating systems. Often found as a deposit on the inner surface of old pipes and other surfaces where “hard water” has evaporated, in addition to being unsightly and hard to clean, limescale seriously impairs the operation or damages various components.
Living with a noisy boiler is not only unpleasant, but it can also be inefficient. A number of factors can cause boiler noise in closed loop hydronic heating systems, but it is most often caused by a thin layer of limescale on the heat exchanger. All of Sentinels products are suitable for all metal systems and not to be used with steam boilers or tankless water heaters.
Sentinel X100 Inhibitor provides protection for clean central heating systems against limescale and corrosion. One can treat up to 25 gallons of water in the system while also correcting the ph balance. High or low ph can deteriorate the interior of a boiler and the X100 is able to stabilize into the range of 6.5- 8.5 ph for most boilers. Fortunately, this is also quick to install, often times under one minute making this a huge convenience for contractors and a must have on their trucks. The X100 is a protectant for the future, ensuring long lasting life cycle for boilers, extending their longevity and ensuring maximum efficiency while minimizing fuel usage.
Sentinel X200 Noise Reducer is extremely effective in solving the noise problem, whilst simultaneously helping to restore boiler efficiency. As a non-acidic product, it has been formulated for the treatment of ‘kettling’ in hydronic heating boilers caused by limescale and unlike alternative treatments, the X200 is added to the system and does not create any unwanted issues as a result.
Specifically designed for cleaning new closed loop hydronic heating systems, Sentinel X300 System Cleaner is a powerful, heavy-duty cleaner for the removal of installation debris and grease. This prepares the system for the addition of an inhibitor, which will protect the system components and prolong their effective life. Designed for new systems installed less than 6 months prior. Made to be flushed out when complete.
Sentinel X400 System Restorer is specifically designed for cleaning older closed loop hydronic heating systems. It is a non-acid treatment which restores circulation to radiators and pipework. Its ruthlessly efficient formula shifts built-up magnetite sludge, eliminating cold spots in radiators and restoring proper heat distribution. It can be introduced to the boiler system from 2 to 4 hours up to one month which is perfect when you introduce to an older system prior to the installation of a new boiler. Systems can be flushed prior to new install then using the X100 for final protection, effectively cleaning the system for preparation of a new heating system.
Ideal for properties vulnerable to sub-zero temperatures, Sentinel X500 Inhibited Antifreeze provides protection against limescale, corrosion and freezing. It protects all system metals against corrosion using the same unique blend of inhibitors as Sentinel X100 Inhibitor, but has the added benefit of protecting system water against freezing when temperatures are low. The X500 is considered a best in class product while many competitors have a design life of 3 – 5 years, the X500 design life is between 10 and 20 years making it last 3 to 5 times longer and creates massive protection. The X500 is available in 5 gallons, 55 gallons, and tankers.
X800, a new, fast acting organic cleaner that can be used in only one hour and applied to a warm or cold system. This unrivaled chemical technology targets the dissolution of colorsion debris, removes iron oxide and calcium deposits in the heat exchanger, and is suitable for common metals. The X800 can also be used in chillers because it has a freezing point of -8f and is organic so not harmful to drains whatsoever.
Circulating debris in hydronic heating systems can cause wear and premature failure of pumps, valves and heat exchangers. Sentinel Eliminator Vortex is the perfect filter solution to protect the system against all types of debris. To suit your requirements; the unit comes in two sizes: the standard Vortex 500, or the more compact Vortex 300.
Rapid dose cans are unique because they can be applied to boiler drain within 30 seconds to a minute utilizing 33psi, and x100, x200, x400, x800 can be introduced into the system by the technician. At A to Z Sales & Marketing, we believe that Sentinel solutions are ideal for loud, inefficient boilers and not only saves homeowners money and peace of mind, but also increases home and work comfort for our lives.
Jeremy Allfrey is the Marketing Manager and David Blake is a Regional Manager and Expert in all things HVAC.